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An avid angler from Hythe won't need to talk about the 'one that got away' after his EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle ticket returned a whopping £1,000,000 in the draw on Tuesday 12 February. And unbelievably, the win comes almost 21 years after his dad won £250,000 on the Pools.
Despite being on holiday, factory worker Ron Warne (46), was up early on Wednesday morning digging for fishing bait on the beach at Hythe completely unaware that he was the town's newest millionaire. Cold and miserable he was bemoaning his freezing cold feet and grumbling that he was going to have to find the money to buy some new thermal boots; little did he know that he could afford the very best boots on the market.
Ron plays EuroMillions every Tuesday and Friday, and always checks his Millionaire Raffle selection first, before moving on to check the numbers. On Wednesday, returning from the beach, Ron settled down in front of the TV to quickly check his ticket. As the Raffle selection started to match that on his ticket Ron couldn't believe his eyes, and once he realised he was a winner all he could think to shout was "I've won a million pounds!" Ron's wife, Sue, and his sister and brother-in-law who were staying with the family, all ran into the room to see what the commotion was and promptly helped double and triple check that he was indeed a millionaire.
Ron still can't believe that he is a millionaire and that the Warne family have hit it lucky again. He said; "Before my dad won the Pools we had nothing and our home was about to be repossessed, then dad won on the Pools and life was a lot rosier and we hung onto the house, the same house I now live in with my wife and son. We bought the house from my dad's estate when he died and while we have managed to keep up the mortgage payments, it's been tough and like many people we have been struggling to make ends meet. It's almost unbelievable to think that just like the previous generation we have had this win when we needed it most. I put it down to some cracking good luck - on my way to the beach on Wednesday morning there were two magpies in the middle of the road, it certainly was 'two for joy'!"
Luck or not, for Ron and Sue the win means a secure future for them and their 13 year-old son, Alex. A stunned and happy Ron said; "We really hope this heralds the start of a new phase in all our lives just as it did for the Warne's 21 years ago. We have battled ill health and lost close family members, most recently my dad who died just last year. The win not only delivers financial security but hopefully will give us more time to spend with our son and to treat those nearest and dearest to the nicer things in life.?"
Although a healthy provision has been made to buy new fishing gear, Ron's priority is to use the win to pay off the mortgage and finish some home improvements. A new Citroen van is also on the cards to carry all that equipment and possibly a trip to Spain, to go fishing of course! The fishing bug has also bitten the couple's son. Ron said; "Alex really enjoys freshwater fishing but with me working nights and money being so tight we've haven't been able to go for almost three years. Of course, that will all change now and Alex will have some pretty good gear coming his way; no more struggling on with dad's old cast-offs."
Ron is adamant that he has no plans to be frivolous with the win, but the freedom to stop considering the pros and cons of every purchase is something he is especially looking forward to, commenting; "Last week Sue spotted an eternity ring in a local jeweller?s and although it was half-price, at £400 I just couldn't even dream of buying that. Now, I can take her to the jewellers and let her choose her ring without even thinking about it. The same goes for clothes shopping with my son or even the supermarket shop. That freedom from financial worry is going to take some getting use to!"
Ron is a Hythe man through and through. Born in the town, he still lives in the same house that his father bought 35 years ago. While he plans to keep working at a paper manufacturer in Ashford he may cut down his hours a little and after 15 months on night-shift is keen to move back onto days.
The EuroMillions ticket which bore the winning Millionaire Raffle selection, WDV 765087, was bought from Sainsburys on Military Road in Hythe.